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February 2010

VOLUME 25 NO. 39 MONDAY, MARCH 1, 2010

 

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Primary Election: Texans go to the polls tomorrow in the Democrat and Republican Party primary elections with voting in local, state and national races. In Liberty County, there are more contested races in the Republican primary than ever. Among those is a three-way race for Liberty County judge between Jay Knight, Steve Stephens and Craig McNair. The Democrat ballot for county judge includes incumbent Phil Fitzgerald and challenger Kenneth Morrison. During early voting here in Liberty County, which ended Friday, 2,483 Republican ballots were cast while 769 voted in the Democrat primary locally. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow throughout Liberty County for registered voters to cast their ballots in either the Democrat or Republican primary elections. KSHN will air returns live from the courthouse after polls close.

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LISD Bond Election: Liberty ISD trustees will consider calling an $18.27 million bond election during a special meeting tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. in the boardroom of the administration building, 1600 Grand Avenue. If approved, the money would be used to fund renovations to the district's aging facilities plus construction of a new administration building.

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Abduction Attempt: A 9-year-old playing with two other girls at the football stadium near Hull-Daisetta High School reported a man tried to abduct her around 7:45 p.m. Friday. According to Constable Pct. 2 Les Hulsey, arrested was 29-year-old Jason Perkins with a Liberty address. He is being held in Liberty County Jail. Bond was set at $10,000 by JP Bobby Rader.

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Sales Taxes: Sales tax allocations show December was not good for area retailers. Sales tax dollars in Liberty County were down 22.92 percent compared to the same month last year.

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Transplant: The Don Neyland - Barbie Vavra fund raiser held Saturday in Liberty saw more than $50,000 raised in an effort to help two fine people. KSHN has reported Vavra is donating a kidney to Neyland, a fellow employee at Liberty County Sheriff's Department. That surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.

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Funeral: Homer Hugh McMurtry, 63. Funeral service is noon Wednesday at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 30,600 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 26.15 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 38 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2010

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Credit Card Changes: This past Monday marked a new day for credit card holders that was the date consumer protections kicked in that were laid out in the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. Debbie Bridgeman with the Better Business Bureau Office in Beaumont said changes include increased disclosures on how long it will take credit card holders to pay off their bills if they make only the minimum payment. According to a creditcards.com survey, 75 percent of cardholders admit to not reading the terms and conditions of their credit cards. With that in mind, Better Business Bureau recommends that all cardholders familiarize themselves with the fine print and review the new provisions set out by the credit card act of 2009.

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A.J. kicked off Cougars: According to Houston media reports a former Dayton gridiron star was dismissed from the University of Houston Cougars football team. A.J. Dugat was a part of the Dayton Broncos state finalist team and a much sought after recruit by a number of colleges. Houston media reported Wednesday that U of H Head Football Coach Kevin Sumlin dismissed the wide receiver from the team, saying only it was for a violation of team policy.

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Dayton Chamber Luncheon: This month's Dayton Chamber of Commerce luncheon will be noon Tuesday at the new Dayton Community Center on South Cleveland Street. This month's guest speaker is Richard Hensley, a trainer with the National Association of Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Programs. This group offers programs to businesses to help reduce injuries or illnesses to workers by helping employers identify and control hazards. For reservations, call the Dayton Chamber by noon Monday at 257 2393.

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Liberty Art Show: The Liberty Art League will hold a spring show featuring a variety of artwork starting March 5 and continuing through March 17. The artwork will be displayed throughout the 13-day period in the liberty center at liberty city hall. This is an open show, meaning artists who are not part of the Liberty Art League can participate. Those interested in learning more can call Art League President Katy Breedon at 936-258-8711.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 30,600 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 26.99 ASL

VOLUME 25 NO. 37 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2010

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Liberty City Council: The Liberty City Council met Tuesday night an approved and ordinance authorizing the city to participate in the Texas Enterprise Zone program. As part of that council action, the city will also nominate Boomerang Tube as an enterprise project. City Attorney Randy Gunter said this is an incentive program of the State of Texas designed to give a tax break to large companies like Boomerang. Gunter said only certain companies actually qualify, based on the number of jobs created, the amount of capital spent on new improvements, and other factors. If approved, Boomerang would receive a refund from the state on some sales taxes collected by the state.

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Chamber Banquet: The Annual Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet is coming up next week, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the new Dayton Community Center on South Cleveland Street. Chamber President Maryanne Campbell said tickets are available for the event, but reservations need to be made since tickets will not be sold at the door. For information or to make reservations, call 936-336-5736.

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Entergy Costs: Entergy Texas customers will soon see an increase in their utility bills. Beginning in March the company reports the average 1,000-kilowatt hour monthly bill will jump by $6.94 as the result of an increase in the company's fixed fuel factor. March bills, which will include the last of a three month fuel cost refund, will rise 8.5 % from the January – February average of $81.70 to $88.64. However, in April when the fuel cost refund is no longer applied, company officials expect the average bill will increase to $118.45.

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Liberty Softball: The Liberty Lady Panthers softball team made it to the championship game at the Bayou Classic Tournament in Beaumont over the weekend. In that final match up, the Liberty girls fell just short in a 3-1 loss to the tournament winner Hamshire-Fannett. The Lady Panthers will travel to Hardin Friday for a 4:30 start against the Lady Hornets.

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Obituaries: Annie Louise Webb, 78 of Baytown. Services Saturday at 10 a.m. at Navarre Funeral Home in Baytown. Gary Lynn Landrum, 47 of Dayton. A memorial service will be held Saturday 2 p.m. Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 30,600 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.37 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 36 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2010

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Candidate Filings: Even as early voting continues for next Tuesdays party primary elections, Candidate filing is going on for the May 8 city council and school board elections. In Daisetta, council members Raymond Sanders and John Wright have filed for new terms, as has Mayor Lynn Wells. None of the three have opposition as of yet. In Hardin ISD, incumbents James "Bubba" Campbell and Kevin Ladd have filed for new terms, so far with no opposition. To date, the only Hull-Daisetta School Board candidate to file is incumbent Marvin Fregia.

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Liberty U.I.L.: Seven Liberty High School band students and five ensemble groups advanced to state during last week's regional U.I.L. solo and ensemble contest. In all, 34 Liberty students walked away with 67 gold medals. Those students moving on as soloists are Matthew Brady, John Thomas Corbitt, Jonathan Gunter, James Litton, Marsha Taylor, Lauren Watts and Brittany Yates. In addition, Liberty's flute choir, clarinet trio, clarinet quartet, sax quartet and 14-person percussion ensemble all advanced to state with first division ratings.

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Lee College 75th: Lee College will hold a 75th Birthday Party for their 75 years in education, in Bicentennial Park on Lee Drive in Baytown, March 6 starting at 11 a.m. There will be music, vendor booths, food, games, entertainment and more. Call 281 425 6303 for more information.

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Dayton Rotary Gumbo: The Dayton Rotary Club will hold their annual Gumbo Lunch Fundraiser Friday. Serving will be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 each, and the money goes to the Dayton Rotary Club's many community projects and scholarships for Dayton High seniors. The gumbo lunch will be in the fellowship hall of the Dayton Methodist Church just off US 90 in Dayton on Church Street.

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Library Closing: As we have reported, the Liberty Municipal Library must close again for about three weeks as part of the expansion and renovation project under way at the Geraldine D. Humphrey's Cultural Center. Library Director Dana Abshier says the Liberty will be closed for about three weeks beginning March 4. However, the head librarian also said the Library would close this Friday for one day of work.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 36,100 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.73 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 35 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2010

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Administrative Leave: As we have reported, there is an ongoing investigation by the ATF of Liberty Co. Sheriffs Captain Harry Kelley pertaining to firearms missing from the property room of the Cleveland Police Department when Kelley worked there. Sheriffs Department Spokesman Steve Green, himself an attorney, said the sheriff's department felt administrative leave was not an option legally open to them, due to information from the county attorney's office in regards to a previous case. Information we were able to compile indicates Captain Harry Kelley could be put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the ATF investigation however, Sheriff's Department Spokesman Steve Green disagrees. It must be pointed out the County Attorney's office has not been consulted for a legal opinion about this case.

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Fire Danger: In spite of what seems like damp conditions, according to Tarkington Assistant Chief Dalton Gregory, the hard freeze in December killed a larger than normal amount of vegetation. Now, that dead brush is providing fuel for fires. The firefighter said recent rains have not lessened the problem; instead, the soggy conditions are complicating the situation by preventing firefighters from using their truck effectively. Tarkington VFD officials are urging folks to use caution if you must burn.

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Lee College Financial Aid: For those who feel they may not be able to afford the many opportunities for job retraining or additional training, Lee College also offers a variety of assistance in getting financial aid or making payment arrangements. Lee College Public Information Manager Jackie Whitaker said take the first step and contact the college about your goals. Call 281-425-6384.

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Black History Calendar: The Liberty County 20-10 Black History Calendar went on sale at Sunday's Black History Month Celebration. The calendars are available at Sam Houston Regional Library on FM 1011, Wickliff's Store in Ames on Hwy. 90 at 160 and soon at the new Jones Public Library.

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Obituaries: Ray Melvin Gordon, 74 of Dayton. No service is planned for Ray Melvin Gordon.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 36,100 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 28.09 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 34 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2010

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Early Voting: Early voting for the March 2 party primary elections continues this week. Liberty County registered voters can cast early ballots through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Liberty County Courthouse and Cleveland Courthouse Annex. Early voting is also from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Dayton Annex on FM 1960 and the Hardin Community Center on FM 834

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Bank Suspects: A husband and wife from Louisiana have been arrested for the February 9 armed robbery of the Texas Coastal Credit Union in Winnie. Chambers County Sheriff Joe Larive said Jennifer Devillier is being held without bond in the Chambers County jail for that robbery and two others in Louisiana. Also, Edwin Devillier is being held without bond in the Harris County jail for those three crimes.

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Sheriff's Response: Some time ago, KSHN reported Liberty County Sheriffs Captain Harry Kelley was at the center of an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. A Thursday report in the Cleveland Advocate newspaper indicates the ATF investigation involves the disappearance of more than 500 firearms from the property room of the Cleveland Police Department. That newspaper also took the sheriff to task for not removing Harry Kelley from duty. In response, the sheriff's spokesperson, Steve Green, said state law prohibits the department from disciplining someone unless there is a charge, indictment or written complaint. So far, that hasn't happened. Steve Green also said claims the sheriff didn't return calls for comment are untrue and criticized the paper for engaging in untrue and irresponsible journalism.

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Lady Hornets: Get out your blue and gold. The Hardin Lady Hornets will play the New Waverly Lady Bulldogs tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the regional quarterfinals. That game will take place in the Livingston Middle School gymnasium.

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Gumbo Lunch: Dayton Rotary Club will hold its annual gumbo lunch fund raiser on Friday. Serving will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church in Dayton. Tickets are $5, and the money goes to the Dayton Rotary Club's many community projects and scholarships for Dayton High School seniors.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 40,500 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 28.26 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 33 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2010

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State Farm Grant: State Farm Insurance and their two Liberty agents, Tracy Williams and Victor Barranco, have worked to help Liberty High School to qualify for a major monetary grant. This year State Farm will award a $35,400 grant to Liberty High school students whose application included their plans to use the money to fund a Liberty High Recycling Program. The grant is one of just seven such awards in all of Texas. The "big" check will be presented to the students on Monday at Liberty High.

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Candidate Filing: Filing for the May 8 City Council and School board elections began February 6 and continues through March 8 at school and municipal administration offices. Liberty: We have reported there are already two candidates in the Liberty Mayor's race. Two other council incumbents – Frank Jordan and Mike McCarty – have also filed paperwork to run for new terms. The other Liberty Council Member with an expiring term Louis Potetz, has not so far, filed to run again. Dayton School: Two incumbents have filed for reelection to the Dayton School Board, they are Barrett Stephenson and Luke Chachere. Liberty School: Two incumbents with expiring terms are running for re-election to the Liberty School Board, June Jackson and Lloyd Pierce have no opponents yet.

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Job Fair: Lee College in Baytown has scheduled a job fair on March 4. Jackie Whitaker, Public Information Manager for Lee College said the job fair would be that Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Lee College sports arena. With approximately 50 employers and businesses coming to the event with job openings to be filled, she recommended that job seekers bring an updated resume, dress professionally, and be ready to meet employers.

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Kelley and the ATF: Some time ago, we reported Liberty Co. Sheriffs Captain Harry Kelley was at the center of an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. A recent report in the Cleveland Advocate Newspaper indicates the ATF investigation involves the disappearance of more than 500 firearms from the property room of the Cleveland Police Department. According to that same newspaper report, Kelley is suspected of trading firearms taken from the Cleveland Police Department property room to a business in Humble in exchange for ammunition and firearm accessories.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 49,300 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 28.30 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 32 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2010

Liberty School Board: Tuesday night, the Liberty ISD Facilities Task Force recommended an $18.27 million bond election to fund renovations to the district's aging facilities plus construction of a new administration building. The Task Force while presenting its findings pointed out the poor conditions of many of the facilities, saying many areas are neither up to code nor do they comply with A.D.A. requirements. There are only two times a year where a bond election can be held, May and November. In order to hold a bond election in May, the school board must act by early March. With that in mind, Liberty ISD Trustees will hold a workshop next Thursday evening.

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Death Investigation: Dayton Police are investigating the death of a newborn child. According to Dayton Police Detective John Headrick, this extraordinary story occurred early Saturday afternoon when a 22-year-old Dayton woman gave birth in the bathtub of her residence. Apparently unaware she was pregnant, the young woman bundled up the newborn in a towel and rushed by private vehicle to the emergency room at the Liberty Dayton Regional Medical Center. The baby reportedly was still attached to the mother by the umbilical cord. Hospital staff tried to get the infant breathing but was unsuccessful. JP Bobby Rader who pronounced the child dead has ordered an autopsy. Detective Headrick said no charges have been filed, and at this time, there is no evidence to indicate a crime has been committed.

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First Day Voting: The first day of early voting, Tuesday, produced a nice turnout in Liberty County. With more local primary competition in the Republican Party than ever before, voting was heaviest in that party. Locally, 211 voted early in the republican primary with 88 votes for the Democrats. That is 299 total. Early voting continues daily through Feb. 26. There are four early voting sites, the County Courthouse, Cleveland and Dayton Annex and the Hardin Community Center.

****************************************************Beasley Running: Candidate filing is now under way for the upcoming May 8 City Council and School Board Elections. In the City of Liberty, there will be at least two candidates for the Office of Mayor. Longtime City Council Member Dennis Beasley has filed to run against Incumbent Mayor Carl Pickett. Dennis Beasley said he decided to run for Mayor to give Liberty citizens a choice on Election Day.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 49,300 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 28.32 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 31 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2010

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Fatality: A Stockbridge, GA woman, 38 year old Sarah Rebecca Coleman was killed when the vehicle she was driving went off the roadway, flipped several times, ejecting both her and her daughter. The accident happened on CR 143 off FM 563 south of Liberty around 1:30 yesterday afternoon. Sara Coleman was pronounced dead by JP #1 Bobby Rader. Her daughter, whose name is not known, was said to be in very serious condition and was taken by Life Flight Air Ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. Neither woman was wearing her seatbelt. The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the accident.

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Boomerang: Liberty City Council Tuesday authorized City Manager Gary Broz to move forward with the construction of a $3.2 million electrical substation to serve the 489,690-square-foot Boomerang Tube manufacturing plant in south Liberty. In the meantime, the city plans to use an existing substation to start supplying the plant operational power by May 1. In addition, City Attorney Randy Gunter said a tentative agreement has been reached between Boomerang and the city on electrical rates. Boomerang officials have said they will initially hire about 250 people with plans to employ 350 when fully operational. During the startup phase, Workforce Solutions in Liberty will assist with employment screening. That hiring process for operators has not started yet, but is expected to begin in the very near future.

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Hardin School Board: The Hardin School Board approved contract extensions on several of the districts top administrators. Including Assistant Superintendent Marvin Stewart, Chief Financial Officer Julie Hebert, and Head Coach Larry Haynes. One year extensions were given to the High School Principal, Junior High Principal, Intermediate and Elementary Principals.

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Lee College: This Friday, Lee College invites those interested in being a public school teacher, to attend a special informational event. It's called "I want to be a teacher day" from 9 a.m. until noon at the Lee College Student Center in Baytown. The event is free and open to the public. Call 281-425-6383 for information.

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Obituaries: Marion Faye Moore, 81 of Dayton. Services Saturday 11 a.m. at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 49,300 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 28.27 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 30 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2010

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Home Buyer Credit: Homebuyer tax credit legislation passed by congress and signed by President Obama back in November provides an enticing incentive for those considering buying a principal residence. Local CPA Byron Swaim said there are tax credits of up to $8,000 for first time homebuyers and a credit of up to $6,500 for qualifying repeat homebuyers. Byron Swaim said those buying a condominium, mobile home or even a travel trailer can take advantage of this credit as long as it is a principal residence that includes eating, sleeping and toilet facilities. An important note – check with your accountant, the IRS or another expert to see if you can take advantage of this credit. The home purchase must be under contract before May 1 with a closing date no later than June 30.

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Otto on Prisons: State Representative John Otto said reports out of Austin last week about the possibility of state prisons closing due to budget cuts are premature. Like most other state agencies, the Department of Criminal Justice was asked to cut its budget by 10% this biennium. However, Rep. Otto said though the question of consolidating unused prison beds to cut the state budget has come up, nothing has been decided or will be before lawmakers meet again next year.

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History Program: Liberty County Historical Commission will hold its annual Liberty County Black History program this Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Liberty Center. The program will include music, awards, and speeches. A special award will honor the late Rev. Paul Cross, longtime pastor of Turkey Creek Baptist Church in Liberty.

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Brotherhood Banquet: The 84th Annual Men's Brotherhood Banquet is this Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church in Liberty. This year's guest speaker is the Honorable Willie E.B. Blackmon of Houston. Tickets for the traditional turkey and dressing banquet are $8 and available at the church office or any member of the Methodist Men's Bible Class.

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Obituaries: Frankie Lee Wade McGlory, 69, of Dayton. Service Friday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. at Liberty Church of Christ under direction of Pace-Stancil Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 49,300 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 28.20 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 29 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2010

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Certificates of Obligation: Liberty City Council approved a resolution expressing the city's intent to issue Certificates of Obligation to fund an electrical substation upgrade to serve the new Boomerang Tube manufacturing plant. The city will publish a legal notice in The Vindicator newspaper next week. Then, Liberty City Council must wait 60 days before proceeding. If council votes to issue the certificates, the indebtedness would be paid back over time with an escalating payment to correspond with the retirement of other city debt. Mayor Carl Pickett said that would minimize the impact on taxpayers while paving the way to bring jobs and industry to town.

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FLNB Board: First Liberty National Bank recently held its annual stockholders meeting and re-elected all board members while adding two new ones. Those directors are R. O. "Dick" Busby II, Larry Harris, Matthew G. Harris, Paul J. Henry, Mrs. Barry N. Jeffrey, Charles L. McGuire, Ed Norwood, Edward B. Pickett and Charles R. Wiggins. The two new FLNB directors are Mary Ann Haywood and D. Mayes Middleton II. Advisory members are A.J. "Jack" Hartel and John G. Middleton.

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Trustworthy Tax Help: According to Internal Revenue Services figures, 80% of Americans enlist tax preparers or tax preparation software for help in filing their federal income tax return. The Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas urges caution in selecting a tax preparation service. Ideally, your tax preparer should be a certified public accountant, tax attorney or enrolled tax agent. All three are licensed to represent you in IRS matters including an audit. Check the BBB's reliability report on tax preparation services at their web site, www.bbb.org.

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L-D Chamber Luncheon: The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is Wednesday at noon at the Liberty Center at City Hall. This month's guest speaker is Dawn Vollmer of the Texas Forestry Service. Lunch is fajitas catered by Casa Don Boni in Liberty for $8. Make reservations by calling 936-336-5736 or e-mail chamber@imsday.com.

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Obituaries: Frankie Lee Wade McGlory, 68, of Dayton. Service today at 2 p.m. at Liberty Church of Christ under direction of Pace-Stancil Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 40,500 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 26.97 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 28 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010

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Charlie Wilson Dead: A legend in Texas and local politics is dead. Longtime Congressman from the second congressional district Charlie Wilson died Wednesday at the age of 76. The end came in his hometown of Lufkin. Charlie represented folks in Liberty County from 1973 until 1996. He appeared and spoke in Liberty County dozens of times. Since his retirement from public office, he was the subject of a famous movie called "Charlie Wilson's War". An equally famous actor, Tom Hanks, portrayed Wilson. Charlie remained active and was at a meeting yesterday when he began experiencing difficulty breaking. Upon his arrival at a Lufkin hospital, he was pronounced dead at the age of 76.

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Trinity River: The Trinity River is expected to rise a bit more before cresting at just below 27.5 feet above sea level, providing there are no further changes in discharges from Lake Livingston. Stay tuned to KSHN for more information on the expected crest.

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City of Liberty: The Liberty City Council met Tuesday night and ordered an election be held Saturday May 8, 2010. The election will decide the mayor's office and three seats on the council. Mayor Carl Pickett is completing his second two-year term in that office. Mike McCarty, Louie Potetz and Frank Jordan hold the council positions up this year. The filing period for council runs through March 8. Packets for prospective candidates are available from City Secretary Diane Tidwell. For more information, call City Hall at 336-3684.

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Dayton Broncos: Three Dayton Broncos have signed scholarships to play football on the collegiate level. Dayton Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Jerry Stewart said those Broncos are Tony Hill, Chance McCormick and Payton Plough. Tony Hill has already graduated and is attending SFA in Nacogdoches; Chance McCormick is headed to Blinn Junior College in Brenham while Payton Plough will play at Lamar University in Beaumont.

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Obituaries: Alvin Lee Fisher, 65 of Baytown. Graveside service today 2 p.m. at Amos Barber Cemetery in Mont Belvieu. Charles Alton Coker, 60 of Daisetta. Services today 11 a.m. at Allison Funeral Home in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 40,500 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 26.59 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 27 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2010

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Game Room Raid: There's been another game room raid in Liberty County. This one was at the Lone Star Game room on FM 1960 west of Dayton. Pct. 2 Constable Les Hulsey said during Tuesday morning's raid, lawmen seized 79 mother boards out of 68 machines plus an undisclosed amount of cash. Pct. 4 Constable Chard Pafford said Jorge Sagastume of Baytown was charged with three Class A misdemeanors. Also, several patrons were issued citations for gambling. Constable Hulsey said warrants have been issued for the owners.

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Chamber Co. Murder Trial: A trial date has been set for a pair of teenagers charged in the murder of Winnie resident David Davis. Devon Meeks, then 19 and Melina Perry, then 16 were arrested in a stolen truck in Oklahoma a few days later. David Davis had been acting as Perry's guardian since the girl's father died. Chambers County District Attorney Cheryl Lieck sad Meeks and Perry will be tried together April 26 in Judge Carroll Wilburn's 344th District Court in Chambers County. Mrs. Lieck said the reason for the decision to try the two at the same time is not just economical, but because evidence indicates they worked together closely in committing the murder. Both Devon Meeks and Melina Perry have remained behind bars since their arrest.

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Hospital District: Monday night at their regular meeting the Liberty County Hospital District Board named Joanne Smith as the newest board member to replace Kathy Dagle who resigned her position in November due to health concerns. Nominated by Board President Bruce Stratton, Joanne Smith received a unanimous vote of 4-0.

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Closed for Presidents Day: The Liberty County Courthouse and all city offices in Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland will be closed Monday for Presidents Day. Waste Management garbage service will run as scheduled. Banks and post offices countywide will also be closed Monday for the holiday.

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Obituaries: Edith Johnston Hickman, 90 of Liberty. Services today at 2 p.m. at Allison Funeral Home in Liberty. Billye Faye Cooper, 81. Services Saturday 2 p.m. at Allison Funeral Home in Liberty. Gladys Clayton Armstrong, 71 of Dayton. Service today 2 p.m. at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 40,500 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 25.59 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 26 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2010

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Early Voting: Early voting for the March 2 party primary elections begins next week. Liberty County voters can cast early ballots in county, district and statewide races beginning on Tuesday Feb. 17. Early voting continues through Friday February 26. Early voting is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays at the Liberty County Courthouse and the Cleveland Courthouse Annex. Registered voters can also cast their ballots early at the Dayton Annex and the Hardin Community Center from 3 to 7 p.m. Feb 17th through February 26th there will also be a special early voting opportunity Sunday February 21 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all four locations. For information, contact the Liberty County Clerk's Office at 936-336-4670.

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College Prep Workshop: Lee College in Baytown is holding a College Prep Workshop for Parents next Tuesday February 16 in the Student Center on the main Campus in Baytown. Public Information Manager Jackie Whitaker said it is an opportunity for parents and students to learn about the steps they need to take prior to their college days. She said whether the student plans to attend Lee, some other community college or a four year university, this workshop will help in the decision making process. Jackie Whitaker said a reservation is not required, but a head count would be helpful. For information or to sign up for next Tuesday's, 6 p.m. workshop, call 281 425 6260.

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Street Signs: The City of Liberty is implementing a new program that combines Liberty Panther school colors with modern new street signs around the city. These new signs are on a black background with reflective gold lettering and boarders. Each sign has the street name plus the city block number. Liberty City Manager Gary Broz said the program was originally that of Street Superintendent Harvey Joiner, and has the enthusiastic support of Liberty ISD Superintendent Cynthia Lusignolo as well as that of city council. Street signs will be replaced as needed over an extended period, however individuals, businesses or local organizations can purchase new black and gold street signs for any location in the city for $40 per sign. For information, call Liberty City Hall at 336-3684.

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Obituaries: Virgil Ray Collins, Jr., 87 of Raywood. Services today 2 p.m. at Faith and Family Funeral Service in Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 33,900 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 24.36 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 25 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2010

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Deputy Involved Shooting: A Chambers County off-duty deputy was involved in a fatal shooting Friday afternoon in Winnie. Chambers County Sheriff Joe Larive has not released any names of those involved. The Chambers County sheriff did say an off-duty deputy responded to a fight in progress after a witness alerted him to the altercation. Sheriff Larive said a 29-year-old man was stabbing someone when the deputy arrived. The deputy reportedly ordered the man to drop his knife, but the man allegedly lunged at the deputy. The Chambers County deputy reportedly fired one shot, killing the suspect,

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Boomerang: Boomerang Tube hopefully will be operational by August. That is the word from the manufacturing company's executives. KSHN has reported since 2008 on Boomerang Tube and their purchase of the old National Pipe and Tube facility in Liberty. Recently, the company secured $200 million in additional funding. A decision by the International Trade Commission to impose duties on imports from China also competitively leveled the playing field in oilfield pipe manufacturing. The company plans to initially hire about 250 and employ 350 when fully operational. The city continues to negotiate with Boomerang officials over electrical rates and recouping the costs of needed infrastructure work. Council will be updated on those talks at tomorrow's meeting.

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Phone Scam: Liberty police report a number of calls from citizens concerned about Harris County Jail inmates asking local residents to accept collect calls. According to Liberty PD Public Information Officer Hugh Bishop, when an individual answers the phone, a recorded message tells them a call is coming from an inmate at the jail. When the person realizes they don't know the inmate, they are instructed to dial *72 to reverse the charge. However, that does not reverse the call. Instead, it captures phone and long distance information that the inmate then uses to make other calls. Liberty police urge folks to just hang up.

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Political Forum: KSHN will begin another series of political forums on tomorrow's Partyline program at 8:30 a.m. The series will feature candidates who have opposition in the March 2 party primaries. Tomorrow's guests will be the three candidates on the Republican ballot for Pct. 4 justice of the peace.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 28,400 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.3 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 24 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2010

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Fatality Accident: A Cleveland man, Randall Carlton Ford, 57 years old died following a one vehicle accident on Highway 321 around midnight Wednesday. According to a Texas Department of Public Safety report, Ford was traveling north on 321 when his compact car left the road, struck a culvert and overturned into a ditch about 7 miles south of Cleveland. Justice of the Peace Pct. 5 Joseph McAnnally pronounced Randall Ford dead at the location of the wreck and ordered an autopsy. DPS Trooper Ray Williams report noted the roadway was wet at the time of the accident.

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Actions of Reserve Deputy under investigation: Liberty County Sheriff's Public Information Officer Steve Green said reserve deputy Patrick Globus was involved in a confrontation with another man on Holly Street in Cleveland Monday night around 6 p.m. The other man, whose name is being withheld, was reportedly with his wife and four children when Patrick Globus allegedly drew his gun and pointed it at the man. No one was injured and the weapon was not fired. Sheriffs Captain Green said the man's wife called 9-1-1 and the Cleveland Police Department as well as the Liberty County Sheriffs Department responded. Pending the outcome of the investigation, Patrick Globus' relationship with the sheriffs department has been suspended. As a reserve deputy, Globus is an unpaid volunteer. His badge and ID has been confiscated.

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Voting in a Runoff: According to Texas Election Code, Section 11.001, there is no specific requirement to have previously voted in the main election in order to be allowed to participate in a subsequent runoff election. However, if you participated in the main election of one party, you cannot than participate in the runoff election of another party. That comes from the Texas Secretary of States Office.

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Missing Man: The Liberty County Sheriffs Department is continuing to seek information on a missing 54-year-old Plum Grove man. Larry Baker Sr. was reported missing by his sister last Friday morning from his home in the 400 block of CR 325 of FM 1010. The missing man is described as a white male, 5' 11" tall, and 170 pounds. He has hazel eyes and brown hair. Anyone with information is asked to call the Liberty County Sheriffs Department at 936-336-4500.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 23,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 18.78 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 23 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2010

Chambers Co. Man Arrested: Chambers County District Attorney Cheryl Lieck confirmed 38 year old Ronnie Odom, of the Old River Winfree area, has been arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Mrs. Lieck said the investigation by the Chambers County Sheriff's Department is ongoing, but it is expected there will more charges filed. The Chambers County D.A. said more victims are coming forward with allegations. Those with information are asked to contact the Chambers County Sheriffs Department at 409 267 2400 or the District Attorney's Office 409 267 2862.

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Akins Change of Judge Denied: The latest action in the civil lawsuit filed by Immanuel Home Health Care against Ray Akins came Tuesday in the 75th District Court. A motion filed by Ray Akins' attorneys to force presiding Judge C.T. "Rusty" Hight to recuse himself from hearing the civil suit was denied by visiting Judge Olin Underwood. Following a de facto judgment against Akins in the 55th District Court in Harris County, the Palmarez Brothers filed suit in Liberty County requesting a receiver be appointed to seize assets of LCST, LLC, and sell them to pay that judgment. Ray Akins has filed for bankruptcy protection for his company.

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Changes in Hardin District: We reported earlier this week on the U.I.L. conference and district changes. Hardin's district has changed to Division 1 District 10-2A. In addition, the powerhouse Newton Eagles have been added to the Hardin district. Hardin Head Football Coach Larry Haynes said another change also occurred; only two teams will advance to the playoffs as opposed to the three schools moving on in recent years. He said making the playoffs will be tough, but he believes the Hornets will rise to that challenge.

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Coushatta Trip: Reservations are being taken for a Feb. 25 charter bus trip to Grand Coushatta Resort and Casino in Kinder, Louisiana. The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the trip. The bus will leave the Thrif-Tee Food Center parking lot on Main St. in Liberty that Thursday morning at 8:30 and return around 8 that evening. The round trip bus ride complete with snacks water and games is $15 and seats are limited. To reserve your seat, call the Liberty Dayton Chamber office before Feb. 17 at 936-336-5736.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 16,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 18.30 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 22 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2010

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Tarkington Fire: Fire destroyed a doublewide mobile home in North Liberty County early Monday morning. Tarkington Volunteer Firefighters arrived at the home on C.R. 2184 around 1:30 a.m. and found the unoccupied house fully engulfed in flames. Assistant Tarkington Chief Dalton Gregory said due to the size of the blaze volunteers concentrated on keeping it from spreading. Liberty County Fire Marshall Jim Wilson is investigating the fire's cause.

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Lions Honor Hospital District: The Liberty Lions Club honored the elected members of the Liberty County Hospital District Board as "Organization of the Year" at the meeting Monday night. Liberty Lions President Gregg Turner said the award was for the board's volunteerism and dedication to the community to provide quality health care. Hospital District Board President Bruce Stratton received the Citizen of the Year award from the local Lions Club.

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Kidney Transplant: A local father and daughter came through kidney transplant surgery in textbook fashion Monday. 31-year-old Miranda Litton Hulvey of Liberty donated one of her kidneys to her dad, 60-year-old Dale Litton, owner of Cowboy Tools, a local oilfield service company. The surgery was at St. Luke's Hospital in Houston. Family members say the transplanted organ is working perfectly and Dale Litton should make a full recovery. Daughter Miranda could be home by Wednesday or Thursday.

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Black History: The Liberty County Historical Commission's Annual Black History Program is on Sunday, February 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Liberty Center at City Hall on Sam Houston Avenue. The program includes live music, speeches and presentation of the Liberty County Black Heritage Awards, including a special award for the late Rev. Paul Cross. The public is welcome.

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Obituaries: Violet J. Guidry Chapman, 67, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Dayton. Rickey Joe Colvin, 54, of Liberty, Cremation Services under the direction of Allison Funeral Service. Esther Mae Fregia, 83, Services at 2 p.m. Friday at Allison Funeral Service.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 18.37 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 21 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2010

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Missing Man: The Liberty County Sheriff's Department is seeking information on a missing 54-year-old Plum Grove man. According to sheriff's Public Information Office Steve Green, Larry Baker Sr was reported missing Friday from his home in the 400 block of C.R. 325 off FM 1011. The sheriff's spokesman said a search ensued that involved dogs, helicopters, and Texas Equusearch. Officials describe Larry Baker Sr. as a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall and 170 pounds. He has hazel eyes and brown hair. Anybody with information is asked to call Liberty County Sheriff's Department at 936-336-4500.

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UIL Realignment: District pairings for local schools have been modified by Monday's release of the new two-year UIL conferences and districts. Dayton remains in District 19-4A, which saw the addition of Baytown Lee. District 22-3A with Liberty, Tarkington and Cleveland is unchanged for football. Hardin will now play football in Division 1 District 10-2A with Anahuac, Buna, Kountze, Warren, East Chambers and Woodville plus newcomer and perennial powerhouse Newtown. Hull-Daisetta will play football in Division 1 District 11-12 along with Colmesneil, Lovelady, West Sabine, and Saratoga.

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Liberty FD Awards: Liberty Fire Department held its annual banquet Saturday night. Among those honored was Jacob Cantu. He is the Liberty firefighter with the most responses in 2009. Rookie of the Year went to Brad Taylor. Firefighter of the Year honors also went to Jacob Cantu. It is the second year in a row he earned that top recognition.

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Political Forums: The Dayton News and Cleveland Advocate newspapers are sponsoring a political forum Thursday at 6 p.m. inside the new Dayton Community Center. KSHN radio will start our series of broadcast candidate forums next week for races in both the Republican and Democrat primaries where there is opposition on the ballot. Those will begin next Tuesday, February 9, on Party Line. All Nine News has been offering those programs for 33 years.

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Obituaries: Darroll Franklin Crawford Jr, 67, of Liberty. Service Wednesday at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Liberty under direction of Allison Funeral Service.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 18.15 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 20 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2010

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Chamber Banquet: Dayton Chamber of Commerce held its ninth annual banquet Friday night in the new community center. Keynote speaker Jim McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture, spoke about last year's fire that heavily damaged his warehouse and the heroic efforts of the Houston Fire Department to keep the blaze from spreading to his showroom. Outgoing board president Aaron Holbrook was recognized, and State Rep. John Otto passed the gavel to incoming president Richard Till.

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Moss Bluff Fire: An attractive home in the Moss Bluff area was destroyed by flames Saturday night along with all the contents. The home of Nathan and Michelle McWhorter is located on C.R. 1302. Mr. WcWhorter had firearms and ammunition in the home, which started exploding in the inferno. No injuries were reported. The fire is under investigation, but Moss Bluff Fire Chief John Wilson said it likely started near a fireplace.

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DISD Bus Wreck: A Dayton ISD school bus was involved in an accident early Friday morning in the Winter Valley Subdivision section of West Woodland Hills. DISD Superintendent Greg Hayman said nine students were on the bus, but none were injured. An investigation is ongoing.

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Social Security: Those receiving Social Security in 2009 should expect their 1099 tax form in the next few days. According to David Bowman, a representative with the Beaumont office of Social Security, those forms were required to be mailed out by the last day of January. Those on Social Security who have not received their 1099 by this week should call the Beaumont office to request a copy of that important document. The direct toll-free number for Beaumont Social Security is 866-613-2864.

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Brotherhood Banquet: The 84th Annual Men's Brotherhood Banquet will be Thursday, February 18, at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church. For the 84th consecutive year, hundreds of men of all faiths will assemble for the event presented by the Men's Bible Class at the church. It includes a full meal, entertainment, and keynote speaker. This year's speaker is the Honorable Willie E.B. Blackmon of Houston. He overcame a childhood stuttering problem to become an elite college athlete, lawyer and judge advocate.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 16.06 ASL*

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